Today it has been very cloudy all day and occasionally drizzly, but not very cold; so it hasn’t really hindered any of the activities around Austin. This is the beginning of South by Southwest (SXSW), as well as rodeo week end.
First, Nancy and I stopped by the Long Center to photograph Northrop Grumman’s full-scale model of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. It will be here only through the week end. We didn’t get to visit Microsoft’s Interactive World Wide Telescope because it didn’t open until noon. The attendants told us that they break it down each night and then set it back up the next morning and that it takes a long time.
The telescope itself is extremely huge. Up to Seven Hubble Space Telescope mirrors can fit into just one of its mirrors. NASA, Northrop Grumman and the University of Texas are working together building a model of the telescope, which will launch in 2018. It is about the size of a tennis court. (http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/JWSTSXSW/)
Next, we went to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for the artists and artisans festival. We saw some beautiful and interesting things. Nancy bought a silk hand-painted scarf with crows. I bought two pairs of earrings – one pair of bronze sculpted leaves and a pair of studs set with Texas’ gem stone, the blue topaz. We had lunch at the Circle C Café. It was mid-afternoon before we left. We had a good time talking with the people.
There was an exhibit in the McDermott Learning Center of Shou Ping's paper sculptures. It's always a treat to see her works. She exhibits here often and her works sell very well. She has won numerous awards.
We also enjoyed the sight of a horned owl sitting on her nest. All we could see was her head. Nancy’s photos turned out better than mine because her camera has a longer zoom. I’m disgusted with myself for not taking my big camera.